Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Identifying Your Target Audience

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 Start with your current customer base | New customers | Building target group profiles | Finding contact information for target audiences

While your commercial kitchen could likely accommodate many different groups, it is best to start by addressing the people or groups who are most likely to rent your facility. You will achieve more with your marketing efforts by identifying specific potential users and targeting your approach to them. This factsheet will discuss several ways to define your target audience.

Farmers' Market.

Start with your current customer base

If you have been renting out your facility already, a great place to start is with your current users. Start building a list of potential customer profiles by noting the following:

  • What are the characteristics of your current renters? For example:
      • Do they need access to a kitchen for refrigeration and storage, but not for cooking?
      • Do they rent the hall but not the kitchen?
      • Do they tend to be non-professionals (such as families rather than companies)?
  • Do some groups use the facility more than others? (for example, do you book a lot of weddings?)
  • Are these people or groups located in your community (or nearby communities)?
  • Which types of groups bring in the most business for you?
New customers

Beyond your current users, you will want ideas about new users too. For this information, look to other businesses and agencies in Alberta that have been particularly successful at renting out their kitchens.

Building target group profiles

Once you have done a little research, you will want to categorize your list of potential customers or groups into clusters. For the commercial kitchen, there are two main ways to organize your target audiences: by characteristics or by geography. Here are some examples:

Group by characteristics (similar demographics or occupations)
  • wedding planners who are in a position to recommend your facility
  • small restaurants, food trucks or caterers who need additional space beyond their own kitchen
  • food processors that might need extra kitchen capacity
  • companies that need a large venue for staff parties or meetings
  • sports teams that need a place to host an event, such as a fundraiser
  • art groups that could rent the hall for special shows or sales
Group by geography (relevant because of their proximity)
  • local churches that host events but do not have their own cooking facilities
  • local food processors that may need extra commercial kitchen space
  • local schools that could host evening or weekend classes using the kitchen
  • local farmers markets may have vendors that need kitchen space
It is good to get specific when creating your target profile, but you do not want the criteria to be so narrow that you only have a handful of potential contacts in a group.

Grouping potential clients by characteristics and geography can help you target areas for growth.

Food Service.

Finding contact information for target audiences

Once you have a good list of groups or people who could potentially rent your commercial kitchen, finding them can be easy using the following tools:
  • phone books categorize local businesses into convenient groups
  • local business directories are often available in municipalities
  • online searches through Google, Yahoo or Bing can give you groups’ contact information
  • the Alberta Business Directory online is searchable by type of business and location
  • the Alberta Food Processors Association has a searchable online membership list under its About Us section
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Identifying your target audience is just one step on the marketing path. Next, you will need to get your marketing materials and message ready.

See the factsheet Marketing Your Commercial Kitchen, Agdex 845-34, for more information on key aspects:
  • What are the main benefits of my facility that I would like to promote?
  • How can I reach my audience?
See the factsheet Managing Risk, Agdex 845-32, for more information on relevant public health regulations as well as the legal and insurance dimensions of renting out your facility.

Prepared by
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

More information, contact:
Alberta Ag-Info Centre
Call toll free: 310-FARM (3276)

Source: Agdex 845-33. February 2016.

Other Documents in the Series

  Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Opportunities for the Commercial Kitchen
Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Kitchen Logistics
Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Managing Risk
Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Identifying Your Target Audience - Current Document
Commercial Kitchen Business Tool Kit: Marketing Your Commercial Kitchen
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kathy Bosse.
This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on February 23, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 14, 2018.